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What is the difference between an epicure, a gourmet, and a gourmand?

A gourmet is a connoisseur of food and drink; the more refined term for this is epicure. A gourmand is also one with discriminating taste in food and wine, though this term is often applied to someone who has an excessive fondness for good food and drink, a glutton. Gourmet's etymology is French for 'wine taster' and gourmand, while French, is of unknown origin. Epicure is Latin for 'a follower of Epicurus', an ancient Greek philosopher who discussed giving oneself up to sensual pleasure and professed that pleasure was the highest good. There are actually a few more words of this type of description, like gastronome 'a judge of good eating' and the terms bon vivant and bon viveur, 'one who enjoys wining and dining'.

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